Embracing the art of design

Get inspired by architecture from Paris to San Francisco.

The site of the former Hotel Centrum Lodz is to be transformed with the construction of a 55-metre-high mixed-use tower which will include offices and retail units. It is MVRDV’s second project in Poland and will also feature a four-storey plinth complete with courtyard and a new walkway through the area. The glass and glazed brick 31,000-square metre scheme has been inspired by the city’s industrial textile heritage and will also become home to a private green roof, while there are future plans to connect the tower with the newly developed nearby train station through an underground tunnel.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has unveiled revised plans for a Dhs5.2 billion cultural hub at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The project will feature an outpost of the Victoria and Albert Museum, a Sadler’s Wells dance theatre and a new home for the London College of Fashion – as well as residential towers and an arts district that will become home to the BBC Symphony Orchestra and recording studios. There are also plans for a new site for University College London, which will be able to accommodate some 10,000 students, while it is claimed that a total of 1500 jobs will be created.
Morpheus, a new flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort, features 770 guest rooms, suites and sky villas as well as civic spaces, meeting and event facilities, a lobby atrium, restaurants, a spa and a rooftop pool. The 40-storey structure has been designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, who describe it as “the world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton” due to its twisting geometric façade, complete with three holes, which negates the need for internal walls or columns. Existing foundations for an unbuilt hotel were utilised as two circulation cores were created, connecting at the base via a podium before separating and then merging again at rooftop level.
Zaha Hadid Architects has released plans for a 112-metre-tall mixed-use project that would become the tallest building on the island of Malta. Mercury Tower, in Paceville on the north coast, will feature hotel rooms on its upper 19 storeys, with residential apartments filling the remaining levels. A distinctive ‘twist’ will separate the two different areas of the building and will accommodate the hotel’s reception and public spaces as well as an outdoor pool complete with sea views. The early 20th-century Mercury House will be incorporated into the base of the scheme, with a piazza planned alongside the tower.
Render: VA
The Japanese art of origami has inspired Paris-based Jacques Ferrier Architecture’s design of Water Park Aqualagon in Villages Nature Paris Marne-la-Vallée. Conceived as an extension of the forested landscape, it covers an area of 8000 square metres and accommodates lush greenery, full-height glazing and renewable systems, including water recycling and geothermal energy. The site makes maximum use of cooling cross-breezes in summer that also minimise solar gain while the light, bright interiors feature water slides and a series of pools integrated into a natural, stone-covered terrain with walkways that offer views of the attractive locality.
The Asian Art Museum is due to reopen in the summer of 2019 after undergoing a Dhs330 million transformation. A new 1200-square metre Pavilion and Art Terrace, designed by architect Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY, is being added and will include: dedicated spaces for contemporary art experiences; new approaches to displaying masterpieces in the museum’s collection galleries; upgrades to education classrooms; and new digital technologies for enhanced interpretation. Another key feature will be a 700-square metre rooftop Art Terrace, an outdoor venue which is set to host contemporary sculpture and commissioned installations.
Render: wHY / Asian Art Museum
Michael Green, the CEO and president of MGA, believes that “delivering thoughtful, elegant architectural design is always possible regardless of budget”, and cites his work on the Dock Building for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club as a perfect example. The new facility honours the cannery and industrial heritage of waterfront buildings once found here, and provides washrooms and showers, offices for the Harbour Master, instruction space for children, and a variety of workshops to maintain boats, sails and gear. A glulam and translucent polycarbonate wall brings light into the workshop spaces and glows along the beach at night.
Photo: Ema Peter / v2com
Currently under construction is Dongting Lake Museum which features a long list of sustainable design elements, including the provision of photovoltaic power, a green roof, permeable pavements, rainwater collection and utilisation, and intelligent building controls. The museum, which is adjacent to the second largest fresh water lake in China, will accommodate four main halls along with a cultural exhibition space, warehouses and office research rooms. The roof will become home to a bird-watching platform and a landscaped courtyard, while there are also plans for an electric vehicle charging station and VIP parking areas.

Zaha Hadid Architects has released plans for a mixed-use project which would become the tallest building on the island of Malta, the Japanese art of origami has inspired the design of a water park in Paris, and San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum is due to reopen next year after undergoing a major overhaul.

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